January 10, 2023

Primary Care Should Play a Central Role in Gov. Hochul’s “Quality of Life” Policy Plans

Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) — a New York-based, national nonprofit Community Financial Development Institution that aims to increase access to primary care and achieve health equity through strategic community investment, capacity building, and policy initiatives — applauds Governor Hochul’s focus on improving the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

Every New Yorker deserves the opportunity to thrive and as the Governor emphasized today, thriving communities are built on a foundation of affordable housing, affordable cost of living, access to children’s mental health care, and access to high-quality, equitable, comprehensive primary care. To build healthy, equitable communities, New York must expand access to primary care, as Governor Hochul announced in her State of the State.

Primary care keeps families healthy, children ready to learn, and adults able to pursue education and participate in the workforce. We welcome the Governor’s commitment to expanding access to high-quality, integrated primary care through several key action steps – including expanding Medicaid coverage, increasing Medicaid primary care reimbursement rates, and loosening licensure restrictions to allow for behavioral health and primary care integration.

We also applaud her announced intention to establish a Commission on the Future of Health Care that will use data-informed analysis to address systemic problems in the health care system. As the foundation of a functioning health care system,  primary care must have a central role in this Commission and in the changes that are proposed and carried out. We urge the Governor to center primary care in the makeup and goals of this commission, as it is the only part of the health system that has been proven to lengthen lives and reduce inequities at the population level, while also reducing costs over the long run.

We look forward to continuing this conversation with the Governor and the legislature, to work towards a healthier, more equitable New York.